Tragically, the famous shrines of Timbuktu and the Muhave largely been destroyed by a radical Islamist group during their occupation of Timbuktu in June/July 2012. There is talk of rebuilding these sites after the rebels have been driven out, but for now what is—arguably—Mali's greatest attraction lies in ruins. article The tomb of Askia in Gao has also reportedly been destroyed. Information found on Wikitravel, as well as most guides and other publications, may not have been updated since these events took place.

The Great MosqueThe Great Mosque is made completely of mud, was made in 1906, and it has five stories and three towers. Every spring the people replaster the Mosque.Regretfully, entrance to non-muslims is not allowed. Apparently this prohibition is a consequence of a fashion photo-shoot more than 10 years ago, which was regarded by the locals as "pornographic".